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Digitally Native Winery Winc Acquires Natural Merchants Assets

Natural Merchants is one of North America's leading importers of natural organic and biodynamic wines
by Press Release - Winc
June 10, 2021

LOS ANGELES, June 8, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Winc, Inc. ("Winc"), a leading omni-channel portfolio of wine brands announced today its purchase of substantially all the assets of Natural Merchants, Inc. ("Natural Merchants"), a leading purveyor of natural, organic, biodynamic and vegan wines from around the world. Natural Merchants was founded in 2004 by husband-and-wife duo Edward Field and Pilar Meroño to help U.S. consumers enjoy the best natural wines the globe has to offer and increase awareness in the organic wine sector. The acquisition reinforces Winc's dedication to sustainability and organics and enhances the company's ability to offer natural wines as part of the Winc portfolio.

"Winc is extremely excited to strengthen our commitment to sustainability and organics through our partnership with Ed and Pilar of Natural Merchants," said Brian Smith, Co-Founder, President, & Chairman of the Board, Winc. "Over the past year, we have launched several initiatives focused on bettering our planet and adapting to the evolving lifestyle choices of our customers. Natural Merchants is a pioneer in the category, and we are thrilled to welcome them to the Winc family as we endeavor together to become the market leader and go-to source for organic wine in the U.S.''

76% of Winc's customer base falls into the 21 - 44 age group, a consumer segment that is expected to drive disproportionate industry growth and one that is increasingly demanding organic products from companies that prioritize sustainability. Organic wine is growing at a 12% CAGR in North America and is projected to be a $17B category globally by 2027.

"We have a high degree of conviction that the suppliers comprising Natural Merchants' portfolio can unlock additional value for Winc going forward," said Alex Goodwin, VP of Corporate Development & Innovation, Winc. "The integration of Natural Merchants' assets and supplier relationships will leverage our DTC platform to enable newfound digital capabilities and customer exposure, while providing existing Winc customers with an enhanced breadth of products in the desirable natural and organic category."

Over its 17-year history, Natural Merchants has developed a reputation for excellence and is widely recognized as a market leader in the category. The company was awarded the Whole Foods Market 2014 Outstanding Organic Wine and Beer 'Supplier Award' and named to the Wine Enthusiast Top 100 Wines for Biokult as well as having numerous Wine Enthusiast Top 100 Best Buys over the years for Pizzolato and Les Hauts de Lagarde wines. The Natural Merchants portfolio is carefully curated from a select group of top quality, family-run certified organic vineyards across Europe and South America.

"The partnership with Winc will bring significant resources to our current business model," said Edward Field, Natural Merchants Co-Founder. "We are eager to tap into Winc's digital reach through what we contend is the most scaled DTC platform in our industry. The combination of our category-leading portfolio with Winc's infrastructure and leadership will position us for continued growth and success into the future."

Following the transaction, Natural Merchants' founders Ed and Pilar, along with their team, will continue to manage the supplier relationships responsible for the Natural Merchant wine portfolio, with support from the Winc platform. Natural Merchants' portfolio of wines can be found at fine retailers and restaurants nationwide including Whole Foods Market stores across the country.

About Winc

Winc is an emerging consumer products company in the wine and spirits industry focused on building brands for the next generation of consumers. Winc's digitally native, omni-channel platform is recognized and trusted by a growing number of consumers seeking unique and relevant brands.

About Natural Merchants

Founded in 2004, Natural Merchants is one of North America's leading importers of the finest natural organic and biodynamic wines from leading family produced wineries across the globe. Natural Merchants' portfolio consists of products sourced from Europe and South America.

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